Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Upper Lakes: With Prstavci waterfalls in the distance

Upper Lakes: With Prstavci waterfalls in the distance

Founded in 1949, it’s easy to see why Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes was the first National Park in all of Southeast Europe. It’s also no surprise that it became one of the earliest natural landscapes placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, back in 1979.

Upper Lakes: About  to cross Lake Kozjak by boat

Upper Lakes: About to cross Lake Kozjak by boat

Plitvice is located in a karst region, an area where soluble limestones are heavily eroded by flowing water. Of course, the calcium carbonate dissolved by rivers and streams in such landscapes has to go somewhere, and that’s what makes Plitvice so special.

Upper Lakes: Boardwalk climbing between the Burgeti and Kozjak Lakes

Upper Lakes: Boardwalk climbing between the Burgeti and Kozjak Lakes

Within the upper part of the Koruna River valley, the dissolved calcium carbonate is redeposited as a sediment known as travertine, to produce a series of stepped barriers. This is one of the reasons Rich was particularly excited to see Plitvice, since his Ph.D. thesis (and subsequent scientific positions) centred around a special type of travertine, known as tufa.

Upper Lakes: Boardwalk across Burgeti Lake

Upper Lakes: Boardwalk across Burgeti Lake

In Plitvice, the sequence of travertine barrages form a natural staircase of 16 lakes of varying sizes, each at a lower altitude than the preceding one. The first 12 of these constitute the Upper Lakes, while the remaining four are known as the Lower Lakes. And over the barriers separating these lakes tumble countless waterfalls.

Upper Lakes: Lake Gradinsko & Prstavci waterfalls

Upper Lakes: Lake Gradinsko & Prstavci waterfalls

Upper Lakes: Prstavci waterfalls

Upper Lakes: Prstavci waterfalls

Upper Lakes: Gradinsko Barrier

Upper Lakes: Gradinsko Barrier

In some instances the water bubbles over itself, seeming almost to boil as it rushes across the travertine.

Upper Lakes: Gradinsko Barrier

Upper Lakes: Gradinsko Barrier

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Barrier

In other places, where the barriers are taller, the water falls as veils, which often become little more than a spray of mist by the time they reach the lake below.

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Labudovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Labudovac Barrier

Lower Lakes: Veliki Slap (Big Waterfall - above) & Sastavci cascade (below)

Lower Lakes: Veliki Slap (Big Waterfall – above) & Sastavci cascade (below)

Lower Lakes: Sastavci Cascades

Lower Lakes: Sastavci Cascades

Lower Lakes: Veliki Slap (Big Waterfall)

Lower Lakes: Veliki Slap (Big Waterfall)

And wrapping around the lakes, the travertine barriers and the streams and waterfalls that connect them, is a network of remarkable raised boardwalks.

Upper Lakes: Boardwalk across Burgeti Lake

Upper Lakes: Boardwalk across Burgeti Lake

Upper Lakes: Gradinsko Barrier

Upper Lakes: Gradinsko Barrier

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Upper Lakes: Galovac Barrier

Lower Lakes: Wet feet beside the Sastavci Cascades

Lower Lakes: Wet feet beside the Sastavci Cascades

Lower Lakes: A damp boardwalk up the Kaluderovac Barrier

Lower Lakes: A damp boardwalk up the Kaluderovac Barrier

Lower Lakes: Crossing the Great Cascades, with Supljara Cave in the background

Lower Lakes: Crossing the Great Cascades, with Supljara Cave in the background

This post was inspired by Cee’s Which Way Challenge (from Cee’s Photography) and the themes Spray from Sue (of A Word In Your Ear) and On The Water from Ed (of Sunday Stills).

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Falls & Lake Galovac

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Falls & Lake Galovac

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Falls

Upper Lakes: Batinovac Falls

Upper Lakes: Not the best boardwalk beside Lake Galovac

Upper Lakes: Not the best boardwalk beside Lake Galovac

While you’re marvelling at the beauty of Plitvice, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

Lower Lakes: Lakes Kozjak (above) & Milanovac, separated by the Kozjak Barrier

Lower Lakes: Lakes Kozjak (above) & Milanovac, separated by the Kozjak Barrier

Lower Lakes: The Great Cascades

Lower Lakes: The Great Cascades

Lower Lakes: Lakes Gavanovac (above) & Kaluderovac with the Great Cascades between

Lower Lakes: Lakes Gavanovac (above) & Kaluderovac with the Great Cascades between

Lower Lakes: Me above the Great Cascades

Lower Lakes: Me above the Great Cascades

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Environment, Europe, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    Beautiful which ways and the scenery is just phenomenally beautiful.

  2. Amy says:

    The waterfalls are fabulous! These are great captures, Jaspa! I heard it’s a beautiful country, have never been to Croatia.

  3. Pingback: A Word a Week Photography Challenge-Spray | WoollyMuses

  4. I just love those wonderful waterfall pictures. Imagine taking a shower under one of those. It would be so refreshing and would certainly set you up for the day ahead.

  5. Max510 says:

    Wonderful place Plitvice.
    I”ve been there five years ago…
    Love the pics of the falls with that effect !
    Ciao ciao
    Max

  6. jpeggytaylor says:

    Absolutely amazing landscapes – wonderful waterfalls! Croatia looks very beautiful. The image with the baby buggy reminds me of the adventures we had when our boys were very young – though not quite as adventurous as Croatia! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Sam’s Ses Challenge #13: Water | Jaspa's Journal

  8. micketalbot says:

    Amazing, my second very early morning virtual adventure, thank you..

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